Data conversions and technology systems. Just the thought is enough to make some financial institutions cringe. It’s not just the million of technology and project details that is challenging about a conversion. Getting through one also requires a great deal of communication.

In a recent white paper (Change Happens: Navigating Successful Credit Union Data Conversions) available for download through Syngergent Technology Services, we explore the best practices when it comes to communications and data conversions.

As more credit unions and banks examine the possibility of changing their technology systems (including core processor, payments, mobile platforms, etc.), they must also consider the best ways to proactively inform both internal staff and external membership about those changes. While ensuring all the technology issues are resolved in a conversion is critical, internal and external communication plays an equally important role in the project’s success. A non-existent or poorly planned conversion process can have disastrous results, while a thoughtfully planned-out and executed course of action can ease anxiety and smooth over bumps in the road during the conversion.

The white paper examines the process through two key lenses: employees and members. The paper gives communication tips for each key group and also offers tools for improving your communication.

“Constant communication through conversation, email, newsletters, and meetings ensures that everyone is aware of the changes that are coming,” says Samantha Noyes, VP of Member Service and Operations with Oxford Federal Credit Union in Mexico, Maine (16,000 members, $131 million assets) in the paper. She also added “It is also important that employees understand that each individual has a role in the success of the conversion. Helping them see and understand what they can do to assist in the process, whether it is on a large scale or a small scale, gives them a
sense of ownership in the process.”

Steering your credit union through a core systems conversion process is not an easy task. Preparing well in advance, keeping both staff and members in the information loop and looking at the best practice ideas from others who have already gone through this can help.

The white paper Change Happens: Navigating Successful Credit Union Data Conversions gives you ideas and suggesting for making a potential challenging task an easy one.